Kapi-Mana News : July 12th 2011
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HAMS $7.99kg From ROLLED SHOULDER or LEG $9.99kg RUMPS $10.99kg Dancer 'accidentally' wins 42nd Street role Stairway to stardom: Porirua performer Courtney Hale accidentally but successfully auditioned for the lead role in a local version of Broadway musical 42nd Street. By ANDREA O'NEIL Life truly reflected art when Courtney Hale auditioned for a local version of stage show 42nd Street. The 21-year-old Porirua local wanted a chorus part in the famous musical, but instead won the lead role -- mirroring the show s plot, in which a chorus girl is chosen to star in a Broadway show. Hale had not contemplated auditioning for the role of Peggy Sawyer. I was just thinking I wouldn t get it, which I guess is a bad attitude to have. I just wanted to be in the show, she says. At 157 centimetres she also thought she would be too short. However, she acci- dentally booked herself into a solo aud- ition for the lead, and was chosen for the part. Obviously they saw something about me that they thought this is Peggy Saw- yer . The musical is famous for its glitz and glamour, and Hale is looking forward to Peggy Sawyer s wardrobe, in particular. I m so excited about the costume fittings. The show will have a two-week run in October. Hale will attend rehearsals three times a week, some up to 12 hours at a time. It s going to be a lot of hard work but I m ready for that, she says. I m going to get abs! One aspect of her role will be a breeze. Hale is American-born, so she has no trouble with her character s accent. Another similarity between Hale and Peggy Sawyer is shared ambitions for a stage career. Hale has been performing all her life, and as a five-year-old announced her showbiz intentions. Apparently I was, like, Mum, I want to be a star! Her ambitions were encour- aged by her mother, who she says wasn t a pushy stage mum, and her aunt Deborah Hale, who runs a dance school. Hale performed as a singer while grow- ing up, but has managed to master ballet, jazz, modern tap and hip-hop dancing, and has a diploma from the Performing Arts School. While the 42nd Street cast are unpaid amateurs -- we do it for the love, it s worth it, -- Hale hopes to become a pro- fessional musicals performer. Musicals are not elitist and appeal to everybody, she says. We sing, dance and act. It s always very entertaining. 'Sucked in' to job By ANDREA O'NEIL Bullying and unethical behaviour affects staff of a controversial vacuum cleaner company as well as its customers, says a disgruntled for- mer employee. Kapi-Mana News reported in June that an elderly Ranui woman was subjected to a three-hour sales pitch and felt pressured into buying a $3050 vacuum cleaner. Now a Lower Hutt man who sold the vac- uum cleaners has come forward with claims he felt pressured to accept commission sales work rather than being paid a retainer, and was given alcohol at work despite being under the legal drinking age. Lower Hutt cleaner Greg Ioane, 17, worked for Living Longer NZ for a week in June but left the job after making no money on sales and feeling uncomfortable about pressuring people into sales. Sales staff can elect to be paid $300 for each sale made or through a weekly retainer of about $690, Mr Ioane says. But manage- ment at Living Longer NZ pressured him into opting for commission, he says. They always try to suck you into com- mission. That s the way I got sucked into it. After four days training he began giving vacuum cleaner demonstrations in Lower Hutt, targeting four houses a day for the six days he worked for the company. He made no sales and ended up out of pocket as the company does not pay staff for petrol. You don t make money out of there. I didn t even last a week, Mr Ioane says. I knew I was going to struggle to make money and I knew it was a waste of time. The aggressive sales tactics he was taught made Mr Ioane feel uncomfortable. I don t like going into someone s home and forcing them to buy vacuum cleaners, he says. I wouldn t recommend anybody to sell those machines. They try to suck them in to buying a machine that s not worth three grand. He also felt uneasy about the company giv- ing staff free beer on Wednesday evenings, which was drunk on the job, he says. I m 17 and they re giving me free alcohol. When staff make a sale they are rewarded with free beer and pizza, Mr Ioane says. Mr Ioane was able to give insights into the way Living Longer targets its victims. Sales managers cold call their targets under the guise of conducting a survey, asking whether the target smokes or is an asthmatic, he said. The next day the target is told they have won a prize that needs to be delivered per- sonally, which is how they enter people s homes for a sales demonstration. Targets have no idea they are going to be sold a vacuum cleaner until the salesman is in their home. The prizes Mr Ioane distributed included a chopping board, containers and a photo frame, all from $2 shops. Another way of contacting targets is to leave a sticker on their door saying they missed a parcel deliv- ery, and asking them to call Living Longer. There are around 10 sales staff targeting Lower Hutt and up to 15 targeting Porirua, Mr Ioane says. Kapi-Mana News has been told Porirua staff are currently targeting homes in Titahi Bay. There is at least one person profiting out of the vacuum sales scheme, Mr Ioane says: Living Longer owner David Lord. He was a wealthy man, drives a nice Jag- uar. He s making a lot of money out of that. David Lord denied Mr Iaone s claims when questioned by Kapi-Mana News. Living Longer sales staff are independent contractors, not employees, and are offered a per demonstration wage or a percentage from each sale made. The company offers both option[s] and the independent contractor gets to make a choice. He denies minors are given alcohol. Under age contractors are 100 per cent not given alcohol in any way at all.
July 5th 2011
July 19th 2011